This month’s MOJO looks at the legacy of Ian Curtis, the tortured, epileptic frontman of Joy Division. May 18th marks the 25th anniversary of Curtis’ suicide on the eve of his band’s first U.S. tour. Let’s assume you saw 24 Hour Party People so we don’t have to review the story in all its gory Manchester glory. Long story short, New Order are still cranking out pleasant electropop albums, and Joy Division are as influential as ever. Here’s a little Q&A with Curtis’ 26-year-old daughter.
MOJO: When did you become aware that your father was an icon?
NATALIE CURTIS: When I was a teenager. I’d heard “Love Will Tear Us Apart” on the radio as a young child. I was aware of it; I thought it was a cult thing, and they weren’t that well known.
MOJO: Did people ever approach you asking “Are you Ian Curtis’s daughter?”
NATALIE CURTIS: It started when I was about 16. How did I react? I got used to it, really. I didn’t happen that much. In Manchester, everyone’s in bands and no one gives a shit…
MOJO: What do you think of people your own age who are into them? What’s the attraction?
NATALIE CURTIS: A lot more people are into them now than a few years ago. I think it’s brilliant music. I suppose if it wasn’t my dad I’d have been listening to it loads and they would be one of my favourite bands — well, they are one of my favourite bands.
The free CD with this April issue thoughtfully mixes cuts from Joy Division’s post-punk contemporaries and the latest crop of bands they’ve inspired. “It’s designed to reveal the progression and power of the bands that have moved punk music forward … [setting] new standards in expressing the sense of freedom which punk rock ushered in in ’76-’77.” Surprisingly seamless, highly recommended.
MOJO Beyond Punk: 15 Post-Punk Tracks 1978-2004
1. Pere Ubu “Non Alignment Pact”
2. A Certain Ratio “Choir”
3. Cabaret Voltaire “Silent Command”
4. The Futureheads “Park Inn” (MP3)
5. Essential Logic “Aerosol Burns”
6. Mission Of Burma “Fight Academy Songs” [sic]
7. Death From Above 1979 “Better Off Dead”
8. Kleenex “You”
9. Wire “Kidney Bingos” (MP3)
10. Human League “Almost Medieval”
11. Siouxsie & The Banshees “Mirage”
12. Bird Blobs “Billy”
13. The Fall “The Classical”
14. Scritti Politti “Skank Bloc Bologna”
15. Radio 4 “State Of Alert (Edit)”
That Wire choice is decidedly more new romantic than post-punk, but again, that’s why I like this CD. Anything Pink Flag would’ve been obvious. When’s the last time you listened to ’88 Wire?
Oh, you were probably expecting some Joy Division. Scroll to the bottom of this page for 14 versions (MP3) of “Love Will Tear Us Apart.”
Also on the post-punk tip, anyone else going to see Gang Of Four?
OK, that’s all you get for now. Off to the Doves show.